1st Edition

Freedom, Responsibility, and Value Essays in Honor of John Martin Fischer

Edited By Taylor W. Cyr, Andrew Law, Neal A. Tognazzini Copyright 2024

    This volume celebrates the career of John Martin Fischer, whose work on a wide range of topics over the past 40 years has been transformative and inspirational.

    Fischer’s semicompatibilist view of free will and moral responsibility is perhaps the most widely discussed view of its kind, and his emphasis on the significance of reasons-responsiveness as the capacity that underlies moral accountability has been widely influential. Aside from free will and moral responsibility, Fischer is also well-known for his work on freedom and foreknowledge, the problem of evil, the badness of death, the meaning of life, and the allure of immortality. This volume gathers new essays by leading scholars on some of the major themes of Fischer's work, and it also includes a new piece by Fischer in which he offers a systematic reflection on and defense of the motivations that have shaped his theorizing about moral responsibility.

    Freedom, Responsibility, and Value will be of interest to scholars and students working on a variety of issues in metaphysics, ethics, and philosophy of religion.

    Introduction Taylor W. Cyr, Andrew Law, and Neal A. Tognazzini

    Part 1: Freedom and Responsibility

    1. A Simple but Powerful Idea: Actual Sequences and Free Will Carolina Sartorio

    2. Responsibility and Reasons-Responsiveness Dana Kay Nelkin and Manuel Vargas

    3. Fischer on Epistemic and Freedom Requirements for Moral Responsibility Alfred R. Mele

    4. Meaning in the Middle: Responsibility, Narrative, and Agential History Meghan Griffith

    5. Retributivism and the Relevance of Metaphysics to Practice Derk Pereboom

    6. Control Over and Responsibility for Belief Matthias P. Steup

    7. Losing Free Will? Three Thought Experiments Kadri Vihvelin 

    8. Accounting for Failure Randolph Clarke

    9. The Peculiar Moral Position of Psychopaths Gary Watson

    Part 2: Interlude

    10. The Resilience of Moral Responsibility John Martin Fischer

    Part 3: Value

    11. The “Range” Argument from Evil Peter van Inwagen

    12. Is Temporal Bias Key to Justifying Fischer’s Asymmetry? Travis Timmerman

    13. Music, Death, and Grief Martha C. Nussbaum


    Taylor W. Cyr is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Samford University. His main interests lie at the intersection of metaphysics and ethics, especially issues surrounding free will and moral responsibility. He has published articles in Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Ethics, Philosophical Quarterly, and Philosophical Studies, among other journals.

    Andrew Law is a Postdoctoral Researcher at Leibniz University Hannover. His primary research is on the metaphysics of free will, although he has interests in philosophy of time and philosophy of religion. His work has appeared in Australasian Journal of Philosophy and Philosophical Studies, among other journals.

    Neal A. Tognazzini is a Professor of Philosophy at Western Washington University, specializing in moral psychology and the metaphysics of free will. He is co-editor of Blame: Its Nature and Norms (Oxford, 2013), and his work has appeared in Ethics, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, and Thought, among other venues.